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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

The Rawbar reinvented: classy and oceanic

Restaurant and sushi bar downtown reopens providing ‘new addition to the downtown nightlife
New lounge bar servicing exclusive menu and new cocktails in Rawbar’s remodeled extension. Taken by Alina Babajko on April 14.

Rawbar Restaurant and Sushi reopened on April 9: there is now a secondary room with a bar lounge. 

Renovations began on Jan. 1 to expand the restaurant, doubling the size inside and the outdoor patio, as well as a decor remodel.

Since its original opening in 2002, The Rawbar has provided modern and artistic Japanese cuisine in Downtown Chico.

“My favorite part about the reopening is getting back to work first of all, but also being back with my coworkers and seeing all of our regulars again,” employee Keaton Murray, a junior at Chico State, said. 

The Rawbar, like many restaurants downtown, employs Chico State students; Murray has worked at Rawbar for two and a half years. 

“I’m excited for the new atmosphere and that we have a full-service bar. I think we’re a really interesting new addition to the downtown nightlife,” Murray said. 

Along with the remodel, the menu also has been given a new life with fresh additions to the cocktails, sushi rolls and hot menu.  

However, the new bar area only serves the lounge menu:

  • Appetizers
  • Handrolls 
  • Tempura rolls
  • Nigiri sampler

To sit at the bar you must be at least 21. 

Lounge menu exclusively serves the bar area and is currently not found online. Taken by Alina Babajko on April 14.

During my visit Sunday evening, I enjoyed the octopus tempura roll, TakoYaki, at the new bar, along with mezcal cocktail Pepe Silva. My friend ordered the Sweet Chili Philly tempura roll paired with a gin lychee cocktail called The Tradewind. 

The atmosphere almost felt foreign because of the classy and oceanic decor, like we were at a resort on the beach. The rolls came out fresh and warm, at the same time as our cocktails. Everything we ordered tasted amazing and fit the elegance of the remodel. 

Sweet Chili Philly and Tako Yaki rolls from the lounge menu paired with cocktails Tradewind and Pepe Silva. Taken by Alina Babajko on April 14.

The original sushi bar is still fully functioning and is also newly redecorated to match the authentic sea-life ambiance. 

Original dining room showcasing remodeled decor filled with customers at the sushi bar. Taken by Alina Babajko on April 14.

During the first week of reopening, Rawbar only provided dinner hours but will be open for its lunch hours this week.  

Full hours of business operations: 

  • Sundays — 4 to 9 p.m.
  • Mondays — 11:30 a.m. to 9p.m.
  • Tuesday — closed 
  • Wednesday — closed
  • Thursday — 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Friday — 11:30 a.m. to 9pm
  • Saturday noon to 9 p.m.

Kitchen, sushi and drink menus can be found on their website.

Alina Babajko can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Alina Babajko
Alina Babajko, Reporter
Alina Babajko is an agricultural communications and leadership major. Her goals in life include helping with food insecurity and improving resource depletion as well as environmental degradation. In her free time she enjoys nature walks, fresh and salt water swimming, and cooking for friends and family. After college, she plans to join the Peace Corps to learn about international culture and assist poor countries with sustainability.  

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